Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Polperro, Cornwall

Polperro is a place that you won't forget in a hurry. It was last August when I first visited this small fishing village on the southern coast of Cornwall and it was by far my favourite of all the Cornish towns I got to visit. Maybe it was that 'Lost in time' effect that the place had on me - maybe it was those narrow photogenic streets with tiny cottages at every turn - or maybe it was the hot cornish pasties and scrumpy cider. All things considered, it was probably all of those things and more.

As with the majority of the Cornish villages and towns I have visited, Polperro was very well kept. The long road down to the shops and harbour were lined with well maintained properties and gardens, many of which were in full bloom and bouncing with colour. A tiny shuttle bus carried no more than a dozen passengers to and from the harbour, plus a horse and cart chipped in with its regular service on the same route.

Boats lined the small harbour at Polperro, which also has a row of houses along one edge of the water, giving an excellent view from each living area. Opposite these houses is the tiny fish quay where boats land their daily catch. There's a bit of everything here. At the harbour's edge tourists could board a boat for a thirty minute trip to Looe and back. Not for me though, there was far too much to see in Polperro itself, so it was time to explore those back streets to discover things I didn't get to see last year. Off the beaten track is where you'll often find those hidden gems. One of those caught me eye just seconds into the first back street I walked down. A house with rendering to the front, covered in sea shells from top to bottom. There were hundreds of them, which were painstakingly (and stategically) placed to give maximum effect. I think it worked!

A nice cold pint of Cornish Rattler cider in a beer garden near the trickling stream rounded off another great visit to Polperro. The little fella caught site of a chocolate fountain in one of the sweet shops and that was it. Within a couple of minutes his face was covered, but did he enjoy it? Silly question really.
So another afternoon in Polpeero comes to an end. Already looking forward to the next visit...

Thanks for reading, Ash

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Another Day In Looe, Cornwall

It was certainly beach weather today, so what better way to pass the time than a visit to another one of Cornwall's finest beaches, at Looe. Like last years visit, the tide was out and the beach was packed. The harbour was dry and gone was the opportunity to photograph the floating boats along the picturesque riverside, so I settled for a walk through the main street with it's many off-shoots.

This olde worlde fishing village has retained many of it's charactertic features, and this was evident as I explored the back streets of Looe's town centre. Tight narrow back lanes with small fishing cottages are in abundance, along with a scattering of 'Bed And Breakfast' houses as you go.

Mind you, Looe probably has more pasty shops than any of the other Cornish villages I've visited to date. Of course I couldn't help me'sel could I. It was lamb and mint today - straight out of the oven and down me cake hole. Aye, it was spot on! Today we were on a short tour of the southern coast of Cornwall and Looe was our lunch time stop. A couple of hours short stay and it was time to move on - next stop...Polperro. Looking forward to that one (coming soon).


Friday, 20 August 2010

Hayle Beach, Cornwall

Cornwall at last. The weather wasn't great upon our arrival and the five day forecast was nothing to get excited about either. Don't ya just love the great british weather, eh. Mind you, it's second nature to get on with things and accept whatever weather comes your way. Let's face it - what choice have ya got when you live in the UK!

It was year since our last visit to Cornwall. A retrospective account of it can be found on my blog - right here. 2010 saw us return to the Hayle area, which is situated on the north coast of Cornwall near the more commercial town of St. Ives.
As there was no write-up of Hayle in my 2009 blog I thought I'd include it this time around, adding it to the list of places I'd already visited and 'shot' during my time in Cornwall.

Hayle has one of the finest beaches in Cornwall so this latest blog entry concentrates on that area of the town, as opposed to the urban and shopping areas. The first shot (top) was taken from a position along the beach towards Godrevey Lighthouse. It was shortly after 8.30pm and the sun was very low, casting a nice orange glow across the fine sand. There must have only been a dozen or so people on the full stretch of the beach, which was almost two miles across. The tide was coming in rapidly so I didn't hang about. A rogue jellyfish sat motionless on the sand, as they tend to do, and I almost stood on it, bare footed. That would have been funny eh - not!

I've added a couple of other shots to this blog entry, which were taken at various points on Hayle beach. One shows a rather nice sunset with rolling waves and a solitary ship on the horizon. Coastal shots and seascapes is what Cornish photography is all about, according to me.

I hope you like them, and thanks again for reading my blog.


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Next Stop...Exeter

Yes, being on the road for hours on end can be quite tiring at times. The owld dog aint getting any younger ya know. I remember opening a can of Relentless to help ease the drooping eyelids as I headed towards the A30 for our final journey to base. Those robbing bastards at Trowell Services stung me to the tune of £2.10 for a fix of the energy drink that would keep me going on the long journey south. £2.10 I tell you!!! At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a feckin' mask!!!!!!!!!

Aye well, the journey onward was a decent one - sun was shining and the roads weren't too busy. After a while I could feel a toilet stop beckoning. That large can of Relentless was beginning to take it's toll so the anchors were ready to drop in nearby Exeter - another place I hadn't visited before.

It was a fairly brief stop. Must have been no longer than an hour at most. First port of call was Exeter Cathedral and the surrounding shops and cafe's. By this time the weather was great and the crowds were out. I took a few photo's after a coffee stop near the cathedral then it was time to head back to the car. It would have been nice to explore the place a bit more but time was against us and Cornwall was almost around the corner.

Speak soon. Cheers,

Friday, 13 August 2010

Severn View, Bristol

Severn View, a place I hunted down after a brief spell on the M48 motorway near Bristol. The sun was quite low and it was an ideal time to check out this so-called 'View'. As I drove towards Severn View Services, where the best view of the bridge was supposed to be, I had a feeling it was going to be well worth it. I parked up near the old service building that overlooked the River Severn and made my way towards the banks, lugging my rather heavy kit bag and tripod as I went.

My first shot shows the bridge as the sun was dropped behind it. I was in luck! The sun could have been setting anywhere but luckily it was exactly where I wanted it, so it was clear I was standing in a prime spot as I took my first batch of shots.

The second shot (shown here) was taken shortly after sundown, with the nice subtle colours becoming more prominent over a period of minutes, which is often known in photographer's terms as 'Golden Time'. A mid- range ND Grad was used to balance out the exposure between the highlights (sky) and the dark zones (river at bottom of shot). It worked very well - even with a rather fast shutter firing at 1/60th, freezing the oncoming car headlamps, as opposed to blurring them and giving a light trail effect which I didn't really want.

The third and final shot was taken the next morning as the sun briefly shone across the River Severn. A circular polariser was used to emphasise the cloud formation. Yes, it was a good spot on the river banks and well worth a couple of visits. I was lucky to get a good sky for the two night time shots. Job done. It was now time to move on and another brief stop-off in Exeter was round the corner. Weather forecast is good - let's see what lies ahead...

Cheers, Ash

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Bath Revisited

It's been almost a year since my last visit to Bath, in the South-West of England. I wrote about my earlier visit on my blog and it can be found here.

A year on and my return to bath coincided with another one night stopover in nearby Bristol. This was the half way point for us as we headed back to Cornwall for another family holiday. Not being at all familiar with Bristol, it was an obvious move to spend a few hours in Bath once again, especially after an enjoyable visit in 2009, but once again the sun wasn't shining. Oh well, you can't have it all I suppose.

We dropped anchor in the Waitrose multi-storey car park and made our way towards Bath Abbey and the nearby York Street. The area was busy, as expected, even though it was a mid-week late afternoon. For a short while we sat near the Abbey, where a busker played acoustic guitar. Later, we headed up towards The Circus and Royal Crescent. It was a lot quieter there, which was unexpected as both locations are often considered to be the more popular tourist attractions of the City. It was back along Brock Street towards The Circus, passing Margaret's Buildings on the way (see image below).

A bite to eat and it was time to head off towards our hotel near Bristol. Once again our visit to Bath more then worthwhile and it probably won't be our last. A lovely place.